Attraction Ride Through
Guests approach the mansion, now adorned with a giant clock that tells how many days are left until Christmas. The rest of the Mansion is decorated with garlands, candles, and pumpkins, while Jack's sleigh is on the roof. As guests proceed through the queue area, they can hear a music box play strange, creepy music.
Guests enter the foyer with garlands draped on the walls before entering the stretching room, where the paintings of the Mansion's former residents are replaced by stained glass windows. When the door closes and the room starts to stretch, the glass shatters, revealing depictions of a nightmarish version of Christmas. The suicidal Ghost Host is replaced by Jack's face saying "Happy Holidays Everyone! EE-HEE-HEE-HEEEE!" and falling. In California only, the ceiling is now a stained-glass window resembling a wreath, as the Ghost Host continues to tell the story, the ceiling slowly starts to shift to orange and purple, as well as a spider is seen crawling across it, the ceiling then cracks into a jack o' lantern face before breaking entirely, with Jack and Zero, looking down on guests as Jack yells "Happy Holidays, everyone!" before maniacally laughing and vanishing into the darkness, leaving only the rafters and the Ghost Host's corpse visible.
Upon leaving the stretching room, the guests walk down the portrait corridor, where the portraits have been replaced by Christmas scenes that transform into Halloween, such as a snowman changing into a pumpkin man, Santa to Jack, and the Haunted Mansion to Haunted Mansion Holiday. The guests board the Doom Buggies.
The Buggies travel through all the same rooms as they would in the traditional attraction, but with holiday twists. Zero floats where the Candelabra usually does. Madame Leota recites the 13 Days of Christmas and each gift. The ballroom hosts a Christmas party and on the table is a giant Gingerbread house which is different every year (as per the request of creator Tim Burton). The attic scene contains presents. In 2015, the Hatbox Ghost has decorated the top of his hat with a Halloween-Christmas pin, and his hatbox stack with a Santa Hat. The graveyard is covered in "Ghostly White Snow" and Jack and Zero replace the frightened caretaker and his dog.
In 2001-2002, Lock, Shock, and Barrel replaced the Hitchhiking Ghosts. In 2003, it was replaced by Oogie Boogie with a roulette wheel with various gifts. Guests are then shown what gifts they got in the mirrors, mimicking the Hitchhiking Ghosts. Little Leota is replaced with Sally looking at Jack flying away in his sleigh as the guests exit back out into New Orleans Square.
Haunted Mansion Holiday takes place shortly after the events of the film, where Jack Skellington (who tried to create his very own twisted Christmas in a Halloween-style in the movie) now discovers the Haunted Mansion, home to 999 Happy Haunts. Deciding to spread joy to the mansion's gloomy residents for the holidays, Jack and his creepy crew from Halloween Town bring hundreds of Jack's original evil Christmas presents and decorations to the mansion and deck its happy haunting grounds for a thrilling and chilling holiday for the Grim Grinning Ghosts inhabiting the abandoned house, setting the stage for the ride itself.
The outside of the Mansion has been covered in both jack-o-lanterns and Halloween-style Christmas decorations. On the roof is Jack Skellington's coffin sleigh and stretched from the roof to the ground is his comical "Christmas Equation". There is also the countdown clock from Nightmare that tells how many days are left until Christmas. A music box track from Disneyland Paris' Phantom Manor plays in the outdoor areas.
(At Tokyo Disneyland, the Mansion does not have a countdown clock or a Christmas Equation hanging from the roof because of the design differences between the Mansions. Instead, pumpkin snowmen can be seen and orchestrations from the movie and ride play in the queue area.)
Guests are then ushered into the foyer, which has been decorated with skull wreaths and such. The Ghost Host begins to tell the story of the attraction in rhyme. From there, guests proceed into one of the two portrait chambers.
(At Tokyo, a painting of Jack transforming from the Pumpkin King to his Sandy Claws guise replaces the Aging Man changing portrait.)
The stretching portraits have been replaced with stained-glass pictures depicting innocent Christmas scenes with wreaths as their frames. When the doors close, the chamber goes dark and begins to stretch. The pictures make sounds as if bursting into shards, and luminescent portraits of Halloweentown's Christmas vision emerge, depicting Sandy Claws riding his coffin sleigh high above the Mansion, a man-eating wreath, scary toys, Sandy Claws opening a giant sack as ghosts rise up and a giant carnivorous snake. The Ghost Host begins reciting a dark variation of the "Twas the Night Before Christmas" poem as eerie music plays, extensively featuring a choir. The suspense builds until lightning crashes and Jack's face appears in the ceiling above, cackling, "Happy Holidays, everyone!"--this replaces the hanging body of the Ghost Host. His laughter fills the room, a woman screams and everything goes pitch black.
As the lights return to normal, the doors open, leading into the portrait hallway. The changing portraits here have also been replaced with ones depicting Jack Skellington, Sally, the Haunted Mansion, a snowman, and Santa Claus in his sleigh. The choir returns as the song Kidnap the Sandy Claws begins to play. A snowstorm appears to be taking place outside the windows and the three musicians from the movie are also standing outside. The staring busts have spider-webs in front of them that glisten with the words "NOEL" and "HO-HO-HO." The loading area is decorated with even more Halloween and Christmas decor and there is a huge animated Christmas card with many of the characters from Nightmare celebrating the season. The card is much of a treat to the eyes itself, featuring the words "MERRY CHRISTMAS" at the bottom of the card, where the message changes to "SCARY CHRISTMAS" intermittently.
(At Tokyo, there is no portrait hall like Disneyland's. Instead, immediately after the portrait chamber, the guests enter the loading area, which is decorated with orange Christmas lights and Halloween pumpkins. After boarding, the guests glide underneath a landing from where Jack, Sally, and the Scary Teddy greet guests. The ride-through Portrait Corridor features portraits of the film's characters performing various activities and watching as the guests go by. Orange Christmas lights wrap around the staring busts in the library as Zero wraps a floating tree made out of books with tinsel garland. In the music room, guests see a life-size audio-animatronic Sally, seeming depressed and sitting in the chair next to the ghostly piano that the Scary Teddy plays. The Doom Buggies then move up the stairs, passing terrified green cockroaches in cages with gift tags that read "For Oogie." At the top of the stairs, Oogie Boogie's shadow appears and turns into a Christmas tree shape in the full moon above. The original black-lighted rubber spiders remain.)
At Disneyland, upon boarding the Doom Buggies (referred to as Black Christmas Sleighs in the overlay), guests ascend the staircase. At the top, there are piles of presents with the Scary Teddy sitting on them, fishing for humans. As the Ghost Host continues telling the story, Zero is now seen floating in the endless hallway in place of the candelabra. The moving suit of armor wears a pumpkin mask and has garland wrapped around it. A pile of dog bones in front of the hallway and a wreath made of dog bones adorns the top of the hall. On one floating bone, a tag reads "To Zero". Presents sit in the chair and poinsettias reside next to that chair.
The corpse trapped in the coffin in the conservatory is unchanged, but the Scary Teddy now sits on it, hammering nails back in. A tag reading "Do Not Open Till Xmas" hangs from the lid. The dead funeral flowers have sprung to life and now choir the song Kidnap the Sandy Claws. The corridor of doors is now filled with the same comically-vicious flowers, all singing loudly. Guests then pass underneath a large yellow-eyed wreath with teeth, which all the flowers seem to be connected to. The demonic grandfather clock remains.
Madame Leota floats along with several glowing bottles surrounding her and now chants "The 13 Days of Christmas" while the Scary Teddy sits on the top of the chair behind Leota's table, ringing two tiny bells with the seance. A bewitched nutcracker with eyes glowing green moves its mouth in unison with Leota. The floating instruments have been replaced with huge tarot cards, depicting Leota's 13 Christmas gifts of which she is chanting.
(In Tokyo, the raven remains in this scene and Leota is covered in candles with Lock, Shock, and Barrel appearing in the back of the room.)
The Doom Buggies then move into the ballroom. The ghosts here are the same, but the decorations have changed. The table is set for a Christmas party and a huge gingerbread house sits in the center. An immense dead Christmas tree (with one live branch at the top) covered in candles and spiders with lights now sits in the middle of the dance floor, but the ghosts waltz right through it. Zero floats above the scene near the tree. The curtains at the top of the staircase in the back of the hall have opened, revealing the mansion's library, complete with a floating tree made of books.
(In Tokyo, Jack and Sally's shadows are seen exchanging presents under the mistletoe behind that curtain instead. Also, instead of a gingerbread house, a giant cake is in the middle of the table.)
The guests are then taken to the attic, where most of the usual props and characters have been replaced with a clutter of all sorts of creepy toys and presents. A huge snake coils around the room with a "naughty and nice" list in its mouth. Throughout the room, some of the evil toys come to life as the guests pass by, including three jack-in-the-boxes (one featuring a stylized skull, another a black cat's head and another a jack-o-lantern), a bullet hole-ridden duck, a cymbal-crashing Oogie Boogie doll and a monstrous train on tentacle-like tracks.As the guests leave the attic and head out onto the balcony, The Hatbox Ghost has adorned the top of his top hat with a decorative Christmas Skull pin and put a Santa Claus Hat on top of the nearby stack of Hatbox. Snowflakes are seen falling instead of ghosts rising as guests Go down the stairs next to the balcony, the guests witness the Scary Teddy chewing on Christmas lights, threatening to blow a fuse. As the Doom Buggies reach the ground level, they pass by a towering audio-animatronic figure of Jack in his Sandy Claws outfit, wishing the guests a merry Christmas as a replacement for the wide-eyed caretaker that usually stands in his place, with Zero accompanying him in place of the caretaker's dog. The graveyard is now covered in snow and the spiral hill from the movie is featured as a centerpiece covered in glowing pumpkins. The music combines "Grim Grinning Ghosts", "Jingle Bells", "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", and "Jolly Old St. Nicholas". The vehicles pass under huge snow angels with pumpkin heads. The singing busts have been replaced with singing jack-o-lanterns at the base of the spiral hill. Before entering the crypt, guests see the Scary Teddy one last time, playing the trumpet with another pumpkin-headed snow angel above.
The Doom Buggies then enter the crypt, where an audio-animatronic Oogie Boogie stands next to a roulette wheel under black light, offering the guests some strange gifts. The guests see those bizarre presents instead of the Hitchhiking Ghosts when they go by the mirrors. If the present is a coffin imprinted with a question mark, Lock, Shock & Barrel will pop out from behind each of the three mirrors.
The guests then arrive at the unload area, which is also filled with snow and jack-o-lanterns. As the guests travel up the speed ramp to the exit, a tiny version of Sally (taking the place of Little Leota) is seen thanking Jack as he flies away in his sleigh and tells the guests to hurry back.
(In Tokyo's version of the final scene, the crypt features Lock, Shock, and Barrel inside some presents, hitching a ride with the guests. Sally bids goodbye and then the guests disembark in a wreath-adorned mausoleum.)
Each year there is a different Gingerbread house in the dining room. They are real gingerbread houses designed by the talented culinary team of the Disneyland Resort.
- 2001: Haunted Mansion with arms counterbalancing each other
- 2002: Giant sack of presents in the shape of a mansion
- 2003: Oogie Boogie on a Gingerbread Roulette Wheel
- 2004: Zero Haunted Mansion Dog House
- 2005: Mansion with the Maneating Wreath with tentacles with forks going after gingerbread men
- 2006: Possessed Gingerbread house with giant arms breaking apart the mansion from inside, and lifting off the roof of the mansion
- 2007: Giant Jack in the Box Mansion with a Jester Jack and Jack O' Lanterns bouncing on springs
- 2008: Mansion in the shape of a Coffin, with a lid that lifts, and a giant gingerbread man that sits up in the coffin
- 2009: Scary Go Round – Carousel with gingerbread Bonedeer as vehicle and Zero as one of the vehicles
- 2010: Haunted Mansion gravestone with giant gingerbread Jack popping up from behind and the five singing pumpkins in front.
- 2011: Haunted Mansion that opens with monster teeth
- 2012: Jack's mansion from Halloweentown
- 2013: A gingerbread advent calendar featuring 13 doors.
- 2014: A house inspired by the Medieval Iron Maiden torture device with a gingerbread man inside.
- 2015: A house of cards built by spiders and gingerbread construction workers
- 2016: A House appearing to be sewn together, with the arm of a ghost sticking out of it and sewing itself inside.
- 2017: Oogie Boogie with a mausoleum infested with spiders.
- 2018: A mansion decorated for Christmas that is being uprooted by a giant spider.
- 2019: The Haunted Mansion featuring gingerbread versions of its familiar characters in celebration of the attraction's 50th Anniversary.
At Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare, this tradition is not carried out and the Gingerbread House's role is filled by a large Christmas Cake prop instead to account for cultural differences.
- Prior to the debut of Haunted Mansion Holiday, Imagineers explored the idea of a standalone Nightmare Before Christmas dark ride. The idea was to ride around in a "Coffin Sleigh" and one of the conceptual works included being thrown down the chute to Oogie's lair.
- Corey Burton - Ghost Host
- Chris Sarandon - Jack Skellington
- Susanne Blakeslee - Madame Leota (voice)
- Kim Irvine - Madame Leota (face)
- Ken Page - Oogie Boogie, Lock, Shock, and Barrel (laughs)
- Catherine O'Hara - Sally